I don?t know how it happened, but my daughter has decided to delve into some old fashioned pursuits that I never thought would hold her interest. You see, when I was growing up, I was a tomboy?loved to climb trees, build things, play sports, if my brother was leading a brigade through the woods where they planned to set fire to a pile of leaves, I was right there, front and center, holding the bucket of water to extinguish the flames. As a result, cooking and crocheting weren?t two very popular activities in my household. But somehow, right under my nose, while I write about how I am an awful cook and can?t knit to save my life, my daughter has taken it upon herself to tackle those skills instead.
She first enrolled in an afterschool cooking class and proceeded to tell her instructor that I once set fire to our oven and that I?m a pretty bad cook. The teacher smiled at me, laughed and responded, ?What?s shared in class, stays in class.? Besides, I haven?t set fire to the oven once ? it?s actually happened about five times ? not including the one time I created a steak inferno inside my barbecue.
As for knitting, I never had the patience for crochet. My grandmother, however, could knit like an athlete and pretty much made dozens of blankets, gloves, sweaters ? whenever she was sitting down, Grandma was knitting. She also made hook rugs, was pretty proficient at needlepoint and I?m sure there were other knitting projects she was into, I just didn?t pay attention because I was too busy catching frogs and salamanders in the backyard. When I got older, I do remember buying a needle point that I planned to tackle once my cousin was born. Unfortunately, the project still hasn?t been finished and my cousin is approaching her 17th birthday and I don?t think she?s into Winnie the Pooh anymore.
Rebecca on the other hand, is totally into knitting too. Her friend turned her onto it and now she?s asking me to enroll her in a crochet class in the fall. Okay?that?s too weird. My daughter cooks and knits like my grandma. Strange, considering she?s named after her ? maybe there?s actually a part of my grandmother in Becca. People have always told me she?s an old soul, so you never know.
Meanwhile, at work, my boss calls me ?the knitter.? Not because I know anything about mastering the art of macramé, but I?m the person in my department who knits together various divisions of our company to make our publicity campaigns larger than life. If I were a man, I?d be a synergist, but instead, like Grandma Moses, I?m the resident knitter. Maybe that?s why I?m so averse to the whole knitting and cooking thing. While I?m taken aback by these old-fashioned references, my daughter, meanwhile, is completely jazzed about crocheting a sweater or cooking up a soufflé.
Even odder, are the legions of moms that I?ve encountered in my neighborhood who have become obsessed with mah jong. Mah jong! I thought that game was only reserved for retirees in Boynton Beach, Florida but my friends are starting early and joining Mah Jong leagues where they scream at the top of their lungs, ?Bam,? ?Crack,? ?Dragon? and finally ?Mah Jong!? I can remember my other Grandma feverishly flipping tiles in Ft. Lauderdale and she even used my dad as a fill in so she could finish making her vegetarian chopped liver. But now, some 50 years later, there are resident Sadies and Mildreds playing their own version of the game right here in Westchester. Sure, they?re enjoying their newfound passion with wine instead of prune juice, but still, Mah Jong to me is a retiree skill I thought I?d need to pick up in another 30 years.
Despite the explosion of technology that has kids playing for hours with Nintendo DS?s, Webkinz and Club Penguin, there are still girls like my daughter and moms who are more into socializing than texting, and have embraced the things that our Grandmas used to do so well. Kibbitzing, cooking and crocheting. I guess it?s not such a bad thing after all. Looks like it?s time for me to shut down the computer, pull up a chair, grab some knitting needles and embrace my inner old lady.
Incidentally, if you'd like to actually teach your kids how to knit and have no clue how to do it, then look no further...log onto www.TheArtOfKnitting.com and order a DVD for your kids today! They'll be knitting blankets, hats and scarves in no time!
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